There are roses from wide parts of the
world in this catalog. It is
like a port populated with many nationalities, some purebred and others of
mixed blood. Some are tough and hardy with a natural ability to stay
dormant through alternating freezing and growing temperatures, allowing them
to survive more severe climates; some are soft and tender from mild
climates where living is no challenge; others a mixture of both.
We now list the old, rare and unusual roses with the modern roses.
This seems a natural thing to do since many of the newer varieties enhance
plantings of old roses, are exceptionally hardy, unusual, and need as little
fussing as old and rare roses.
The following paragraph explains the type of rose listed, but we also
list the approximate date of discovery or introduction of each variety in
order to help those of you seeking historical roses.
After the name of each of the old, rare and unusual roses the
classification, or type, is given. There are as many types of roses as
there are races of people and breeds of dogs. The same thing is true of
roses as the "begats" in the Book of Genesis. Species roses were cross
pollinated by nature and a new type of roses came into existence. Botanists
can only surmise what happened before records were kept, but it is believed
Rosa Gallica is the Adam of the old European roses, and it crossed with Rosa
Moschata begat the Autumn Damask. Rosa Gallica crossed with Rosa
Canina begat the Alba, and crossed with Rosa Phoenicia begat the Damask.
The Damask crossed with Alba begat the Centifolia.
All the roses directly descended from Rosa Gallica are extremely
hardy, and except for the Autumn Damasks, have one annual flowering.
In the late 1700s botanists, accompanying expeditions exploring the world,
discovered ever blooming roses in the sub-tropics of China and brought them to
Cross pollination by nature and man between the China or Tea roses from
China and the descendants of Rosa Gallica brought into existence the types
known as Bourbon, Portland, Hybrid Perpetual and finally Hybrid Tea.
In addition to all this, hundreds of species have been discovered,
brought into cultivation and have made natural crosses or have been used by
hybridizers. Important among these are the Rugosas (the hardiest of all
roses), Hybrid Rugosas and Hybrid Musks.
The more China or Tea there is in the ancestry of a rose the less hardy
it is in severe climates, and the roses classed as Tea, China, Noisette and the
species with Chinensis in their names should be grown only in mild climates.
Many people who live where there are cold winters and quick changes from warm
to freezing weather in the spring grow these types with success in protected places,
but I don't recommend them to anyone who is not experienced and minds losing a
plant now and then.
Graham Stuart Thomas has written a number of books on plants, gardens,
and especially roses. He has now combined his early three books on roses
into one concise anthology - the title is "Graham Stuart Thomas' Rose
Book". A real treasure.
Very hardy types of roses are: Gallica, Autumn Damask, Damask,
Centifolia, Moss, Hybrid Rugosa, Hybrid Spinossisima, most Shrubs
Hybrid Perpetual, Hybrid Musk, Polyantha, Portland, Bourbon,
Floribunda, Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora roses are reasonably hardy and one
needs to show concern for them during extreme temperature changes, as well
as giving them winter protection in severe climates.
Tender roses which should be grown only in very mild climates or in a
temperature controlled greenhouse are Noisette, Tea, China and Hybrid China.
Tender roses indicated with @.See Roses for various Zones.